Cheiranthera linearis

Distribution Map
Family: Pittosporaceae
Distribution: Open forest and woodland from south-east Queensland to central Victoria
Common Name: Finger flower
Derivation of Name: Cheiranthera; From Greek cheir, a hand or fist and anthos, a flower, referring to the arrangement of the stamens like the fingers of a hand.
linearis...from Latin linearis, linear, referring to the narrow shape of the leaves.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Cheiranthera is a small genus which occurs only in Australia. Cheiranthera linearis is a small shrub to about 0.5 metres high with linear or lance-shaped leaves about 25-50 mm long. The leaf margins may be entire or slightly toothed. The deep blue flowers are seen in late spring and summer and are quite large (about 35 mm diameter) with prominent yellow stamens arranged to one side of the floral tube. Some forms of this species have been previously referred to C.cyanea, a name which is no longer considered valid.

Cheiranthera cyanea
Cheiranthera linearis
Photo: Tony Rodd

Cheiranthera linearis is not often seen in gardens which is a pity as its small size and colourful flowers would make it suitable for cultivation in the smallest of gardens. It is reported to be a very tough plant suited to a wide range of reasonably well drained soils. It prefers a position protected from full sun but not dense shade. Apparently it may sucker under some conditions.

Propagation may be carried out from seed which germinates without treatment. Cuttings of hardened, current season's growth are also successful.


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